That's a phrase that is used a lot by Congressmen and other politicians who want their constituents (future voters) to think they weigh each issue very carefully, even tediously, while they take both sides into consideration and finally make a decision based on what is good for everyone even if it goes against their political impulses. It makes for a good fairy tale for the perpetually gullible. For the not so gullible it's a phrase that goes in one ear and out the other without converting from "ram" memory to the hard drive variety.
This morning, readers of the Drudge Report got a different perspective on wrestling by thoughtful elected representatives. At least by one congressman, Rep. Bob Etheridge (D.- N. Carolina) took it to a whole new level last week while walking on the street after attending a Nancy Pelosi fundraiser. He didn't like a question he was asked on the street by a citizen so he started wrestling with him instead of the issue.
Actually, he attacked the person physically. (Not to mention committing a crime.) Seems like ole Bob is somewhat of a tough guy who has a temper and delusions of being a policeman or someone else with the authority to demand identification of people on the street. (Last time I checked even the police must not attack someone when asking who they are.)
It's a different twist on the Arizona illegal immigrant controversy. Many, if not most of those in his party, oppose the new Arizona law on the grounds that maybe (possibly and even probably) people who are in this country illegally will be asked who they are by police for no reason other than racial profiling. Leaving aside for a moment the fact that the law itself prohibits that practice, that is their position.
Ole Bob's website does not address that issue so it's not clear what his position is on the issue. (For my part, based on the treatment citizens get from Bob, I think I'm more comfortable with Arizona's treatment of their residents.)
In any case, he seems to think he has the power to ask for identification (by force if necessary) of anyone who asks him a question about his positions on public policy. In this case, the citizen who asked (self-identified as a student working on a project) was inquiring about whether or not the Representative supported President Obama's agenda. It was at that point that Bob took the issue under consideration by wrestling with it, or at least with the person who asked it.
I have never been a big fan of "ambush" interviews, but democracy is not always pretty or polite and the Representative was under no obligation to answer the question or even acknowledge the person's presence.
The video below shows the incident. It is not possible for us to know if the video has been edited in any way, but it looks pretty clear to me that Bob was never threatened or attacked. You can judge for yourself.
I do have a few questions of my own for Etheridge as long as I'm here in my home and out of his physical reach.
1. Bob, do you feel at all lucky that you have not been arrested for assault so far?
2. Bob, do you think you will win re-election in the fall?
3. Bob, do you ponder whether or not you will be forced to resign because of this crime?
4. Bob, do you think you might call Jack Nicholson and ask him if he can give you the same treatment he gave Adam Sandler in "Anger Management?"
5. Finally Bob, do you support President Obama's agenda?
The following message just appeared on the website of the perp. You can decide whether or not it addresses the issue adequately. It should be noted that my questions were not answered.
Washington, DC, Jun 14 - U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-Lillington) released the following statement on the viral video which appeared on the internet today:
“I have seen the video posted on several blogs. I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction and I apologize to all involved. Throughout my many years of service to the people of North Carolina, I have always tried to treat people from all viewpoints with respect. No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response. I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse.”
Rep. Bob Etheridge (NC-02)